Spreading the Lovecraft on the Solstice

Lots of time and motivation Sunday afternoon saw my little bust of H.P. Lovecraft to completion. Last year I was pushing to finish my Eldritch Elf gift in time, but this one just sort of blurped itself into existence. I sculpted and painted it in well under a week.

I had an absolute blast on this one. I don’t fall into a perfectionist trap on these projects, and I think the joy of creativity shows through in the final product. Continue reading “Spreading the Lovecraft on the Solstice”

Lovecraft Sculpture Complete

I returned from a wonderful Thanksgiving trip with my family, which included a crackling fire at my parents’ cabin, a nice walk in a dark, quiet forest, and a ton of great food. Upon my return, my miniature Lovecraft was eager for some hair & clothing.

A small bust of horror writer H.P. Lovecraft made in Sculpey for a gift exchange run by the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society.

I’m fairly pleased with this result. I obviously have areas that could be improved, but it’s pretty close to my original idea and I learned some things along the way.

I used a mixture of Original Sculpey and Sculpey Firm. I built around a little wad of aluminum foil that I added for bulk and to help in evening out the baking. I baked at least 5 layers into the sculpture without cracking or even browning, which had been a concern.

Stay tuned to watch this little fellow come together!

Another Base without a Face

I’ve found time here and there to complete another little vignette. This one features a dead tree, which I haven’t done in a while.  As usual, this one is a kind of lesson to be applied in basing minis, as well as a little imaginative refuge in its own right.

A detaile base featuring a forest scene without a miniature.

The base is 1.5″ square. I like the challenge of telling a story or creating a scene dense in interesting details on a very small scale. Continue reading “Another Base without a Face”

Lichen It: Another Forest Vignette

I finished off in just a few days another little test scene. I enjoy creating these little vignettes for their own sake, and I can practice techniques or experiment with ideas I might draw upon when I’m basing a mini in the future.

A forest scene that could serve as the base for a miniature.

For this little forest scene I focused upon an idea I had for creating lichen and continued messing around with leaf litter. Continue reading “Lichen It: Another Forest Vignette”

Mushroom Preserve

I think I’m going to call this little scene finished.

I experimented with my mushroom building process (that was useful), I tried adding some leaf litter (useful trial, but I’m going to keep working on it), and I failed, in my judgement, with the larger plants. I’ll keep working on that one. Continue reading “Mushroom Preserve”

Mini Painting Validation

I’m back from DC with a gold medal and Best in Category (journeyman, single figure) for ‘Into the Wild‘!

Four Display Minis I Submitted to the Painting Competition at the NOVA Open 2019 in Washington DC

Read on to learn more about my championship weekend at the NOVA Open. Continue reading “Mini Painting Validation”

AndyG’s NMM Rust Technique

Today ToadChapel is proud to present a tutorial from the amazing Andy Gillaspy, aka AndyG. Andy is a true master of NMM style painting, but he’s always pushing himself in new directions. In that spirit, Andy has developed a way to render heavy rust in a non-metallic setting.  Read on to learn how to add this technique to your bag of tricks. Thanks Andy!

AndyG's beautiful Wraith from Black Crow Miniatures

I adore non-metallic metals. It’s my favourite way of painting metals. The control on where the highlighting goes, the matte finish which stops unwanted glints from metallic paints so that the mini appears to the observer the way that you want it to rather than how the lighting in the room reflects offs metallic paints is for me worth the effort. This isn’t to say that TMM is not an exacting and difficult way of painting metals well; for example the work of SkellettetS and Megazord Man is superb and they use TMM most of the time.

That said, NMM for me. However, what to do with rust? There I have previously given in and used TMM rather than NMM and I have been very satisfied with the results; the slight application in rubbed spots of the metal concentrates the highlights where you want them anyway so the issues of glints appearing where you don’t want them doesn’t occur as the rest of the metal is oxidized with matte browns and oranges. It was quite a challenge to come out of my comfort zone and decide to see if I could paint realistic and aesthetically pleasing rusted armour with NMM. Continue reading “AndyG’s NMM Rust Technique”